A Picasso painting always looks like a Picasso painting, and a Degas painting always looks like a Degas… Great artists have a very distinctive personal style, a combination of subject matter, medium and technique, which makes their artworks striking and recognisable.
Artists are always keen to develop their own personal artistic style, and it is a great way to gain confidence in your own practice. Here are our tips to get you started!
1. Remember Early inspiration
If you enjoyed drawing or making things as a child, dip into your early memory and think about what it was that you were especially drawn to as a child. Did you like drawing people, or perhaps it was animals, or the weather, or buildings or even mermaids? If you can’t think that far back, think about what you tend to doodle when you’re on the phone or on a train? Don’t discount your natural instincts: your artistic style will grow from what you love to draw.
Take every opportunity to try out a new medium and different art techniques: acrylics, crayons, pastels, inks, oils… anything you can think of! You will find one that feels like ‘you’, and the experience of trying different mediums will enrich your understanding of how to make the most of your materials. I know you’ve heard it before, but creating your own personal style is a matter of practice and continual development, so keep experimenting!
3. Put yourself in another artist’s shoes
Look at as much art as you possibly can! If you can’t go to galleries as often as you’d like to, try some online resources such as the The National Gallery in London, where the entire catalogue is available for you to examine in detail. Choose at least 5 or 6 paintings that you are drawn to, and consider how the artist made the painting. Write some notes about the subject matter, colouring, composition, the narrative or story and the symbolism of each painting, and in a sketchbook, copy a small section in as much detail as possible.
4. Keep learning
Most artists keep evolving throughout their career. Sometimes they experience large, dramatic shifts in style (Picasso’s relationship with Cubism, for example) but other times, they evolve their style organically and gradually over time. Always stay open to new techniques, new artists and new styles, and you’ll ensure your work stays fresh and exciting.
5. Get some one-on-one feedback.
If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a little bit of an artistic rut, consider having some focused feedback from another artist. It’s very hard to identify our own successes (and shortcomings!) and so it is very helpful to have an outsider’s perspective, particularly from an art tutor who can give you some new directions to work in. We offer personal art tuition in Birmingham, Manchester and London with our incredible tutors, and you can have as little or as many hours as you need to get you back on track! To find out more contact us.
Have you found your own artistic style? What do you think of our tips – can you add any? We’d love to hear from you!
Author: Clara Tait